November 4, 2009
We are a victim of sludge. We have been stonewalled by local and state agencies in our search for answers and sludge disposal practices in Muskogee, Oklahoma specifically Crekola, Oklahoma. I would like the Senate committee to investigate sewage sludge on my farmland and surrounding area.
My family have been residents of and near the town of Crekola, Oklahoma for over 100 years. It is a quiet, sweet smelling, country community with wildlife (deer, bobcat, turkey, etc) It is beautiful or it was beautiful until this sewage was applied on land south of our farm. This contractor, Sludge Tecnology Inc (STI), is planning to apply more to the north of us. He owns lots and blocks in the town of Crekola, OK and will apply to streets and alleys as this looks like farmland in most of the community. This application will also be applied near creeks and sloped land that will eventually drain into the Arkansas River. I do not believe the sludge was applied correctly,there is already question (John Knorr,DEQ) about applying too close to water. I do not believe it should have been applied to the property because of watershed, slope of land, clay soil, and I'm sure there are other reasons for not applying to this area. After applying sludge and looking like an oil slick it rained that evening, September 9, 2009. Next day no sign of sludge except down the ditch and in our pond and also across the road at our neighbors on their property. We approached the contractor,STI, but they didn't think there was a problem, but said they would clean out our pond. We thought OK, but later after educating ourselves found out that this was probably a bigger problem than getting it in our pond. It would spread onto neighbors, down the creek, and eventually in the Arkansas River. Contaminating humans, animals, plants, soil, and wildlife this would be an ongoing problem and affect our future children, animals, wildlife, plantlife and soil.
We have cattle and have taken them out of that pasture before the runoff. We wanted to get them back to that pasture in November, but we are scared to expose our cattle to the pond and land. We have talked with Jeremy Holman, DEQ and he passed us on to John Knorr, DEQ. We also talked to Muskogee sewer plant and they tell us it is the contractor's (STI) problem not their's. We talked to the City Engineer, Steve Alman. He gave us rules dated 1998. We found out the Health Department, which is stated on the documents Steve Alman provided us, does not take care of matters such as this anymore. Health department referred us to DEQ. We understand the contractor, STI, should have reported the spill within 24 hours, didn't happen.
My family has farmed and lived in this area for over 100 years, I believe it is my responsibility to take care of problems like this but I need direction. Oklahoma motto is Keep our Land Grand. How can we if state agencies like DEQ and local government and not doing their job and enforcing rules and regulations with their contractors. Our country is being ate up with pollution of all kinds, but this is preventable if agencies do their job and enforce rules and regulations. Our city government is tight, meaning everybody is helping each other to get what they want. Money and favors are exchanging hands. Thankfully I am not in that greedy ring of vulchers, but I am not powerful enough to close them down. We have hired an attorney, but we don't have much money and are unemployed. Why should we have to hire an attorney? Why are our government agencies not protecting our environment and our citizens? Today we paid our attorney over $600 and nothing has happened. We can not fight STI, the city and state government. Can anybody help?????????
Faustina Greuel, Muskogee, OK